Parakeet owners! Q's about your birds temperament


Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
16 Years
Jan 25, 2007
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
I've been thinking about getting parakeets again and was wondering about your experiences with the little guys.

The last time I had a pair was when I was a kid. Had a green and blue one and just did the standard cleaning and maintenance stuff and watched from afar as they never wanted anything to do with us. The only thing they wanted was to either play with each other and perch on the indoor tree we had. They had the temperament of leghorns!

It would be nice to have a pair of tamer birds, with a temperament more like a heavy breed like RIR, doesn't need to be a lap type bird, but would that be possible if I picked a pair out from the pet store? Or will I have to try to find a hand raised few somewhere? I've heard of them being kept alone, but I think they are social creatures just like chickens that would be happier with a friend during the day.

It was a long time ago when I had them, so maybe the pair I had when I was a kid were adults when they got home, perhaps traumatized by just the fact that it was surrounded by kids and not socalized.

So tell me your stories of parakeet raising, the source they were from, trained/training, temperament and so on! I'd love to hear about them before getting a more.
I've bought parakeets from the store store a few years ago. Usually the ones from the petsotre arnt tame,but they can be. The younger you get one the better. The way to tell is by the bars on the head, the real young ones have bars going down to their beak,as they grow older the bars disappear.
I've kept them both alone and in pairs. The single ones seemed to be more tame and willing to learn then the ones kept in pairs.
Parakeets are highly trainable,but it does take time.
OH get one. They have to be the most undervalued, underrated, bird on the planet. Parakeets are easy to tame. They will be tamer if you have only one than a whole bunch. But if you are willing to handle them regularly you can keep more than one tame. Try realy hard to stick to no more than two (they are like chickens and potato chips). If you are getting one from a pet store here is a hint. Get yours as soon as you can after a fresh shipment. The store usually gets them from a hatchery/breeder and they ship them young as possible. Then the store keeps and feeds them untill they have managed to sell most. The birds start out wondering where they are, but quickly settle in to a routine. When they are new, young, frightened and clueless it is very easy to be their best freind. Babies are super easy to tame, but you can tame most older ones if you have to.

Be sure and HAVE BOTH WINGS CLIPPED. Trust me on this, you are clipping feathers and they WILL GROW BACK. A bird store that sells them should be able to do this for you. If not, read up on it so that you do not clip a blood feather, and clip it yourself. Parakeets are aerodynamically superior birds. They have a lot of lift for their size and fly very well. This is a safety measure for you both. It will keep the bird from darting out a door or window you have left ajar because you are not used to having a bird around. Temporarily inhibiting it's ability to fly will make it easier to catch handle and tame. By the time it's feathers have re-grown in a couple of months you will be used to each other. CAUTION at first the bird will not understand it cannot jump and fly. In order to keep it from accidentally injuring itself do not hold, carry, or place it in a manner it can drop or fall any distance. Let it figure out it has lost some flight ability by handling it on large flat surfaces like floors for a couple of days. Don't set it someplace high and frighten it.

A wonderful bird taming freind of mine, that owned a pet store specialising in birds, once showed me a trick. You take the parakeet and hold it gently but firmly in your hand. Then place your hand on your chest against your heart. Carry it with you gently cradled against your heart while you go about doing what you do, talking to it calmly ignoring it if it chews on your hand in an attempt to escape. Pretty quickly the bird will settle quietly- still waiting to get away of course. Sometime after that when it has not escaped it will kind of give up on life. Sometime after that it will realize it is not dead and you have not hurt it. It will be become interested in where it is and what you are doing. Carry it around gently, talk to it feed it bits of what you are eating, when it is calm enough let it sit on your hand, shoulder, computer key board. Whatever you are doing let it come along with you. A couple of mornings of this and you will have a tame little new freind.
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Can parakeets be potty trained? I've been able to potty train hamsters in a few weeks, and know larger parrots can be potty trained, so is it possible for the parakeets? When they are out, that might add a whole new dimension to the poo thing.

I think I can figure out the youngins and know the petstores get live shipments on thursdays... as that's when I go scope out their newly gotten aquarium plants before they are destroyed in the store.

I have no problem clipping wings of birds as I did it for the old pair we had before.
As far as I know parakeets cant be potty trained, I know they have diapers you can put on them,but I think thats about it as far as it goes.
Alot of stores get parakeets of all ages(I know petco and petsmart do along with the local petstore) so be sure to check for bars. More often then not,theres more young ones, but theres older ones mixed in as well. The older ones are usually ones kept back for breeding,but didnt make the cut for whatever reason.
Yes they can be potty trained. I potty train all my birds. Of course it is sort of the owners that are realy the most trained. I had a little jungle gym with toys on it that could be moved around and set on the table, by the couch near the window etc. It had papers in a tray underneath, and provided hours and hours of entertainment. I sugest you get or make a play yard also.

Every fifteen minutes or so when you hold them on your hand, you position a paper towel or kleenex under them with your other hand and say poop (or something more elegant if you can think of it). When a bomb hits the mark you make happy noises say something like what a good guy. It is a lot like potty training a baby. Success will depend a great deal on your ability to recognize the need and provide the paper and cue in time. The bird will wiggle and squirm and then kind of back up drop it ( the doody )and move foreward again. Then you throw out the kleenex. They poop almost immeadiately when they step up onto your hand, and if they are frightened. Lightening the load is a part of the flight response. They also should be offered the opportunity frequently so they do not have to "hold it" for too long. Once they catch on they realy will not want to soil you. Of course you pretty well get in the habit of holding a kleenex in your hand and sitting next to a small trash can when you are holding your bird, but that is way better than being covered in bird poo.

That is why the playard perch with papers (where you often are for long periods of time) is a good idea. If I was holding mine and got distracted he would indicate he wanted back on his perch out of habit I'd reach over and dump him down on it, where he'd go and then want back up on me again.
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Great! Thanks for the info. Sounds promising. When the hammies get their ball time and have to go potty, I can figure out that when they roll over into the computer room, and scratch at the bottom of the ball, they want to go home and often potty... or eat/nap.

I do see that there are some "old" parakeets at the pet store. I'd have to say about half are at least 4+ months old, and some even older because they have that whole near white iris thing that my old birds had. The youngin's often that got bars to the beak, big black eyes, and curious look about them, vs the ones that have probably been in the aviary for months and just haven't been picked and thus are used to the store routine.

Still thinking about it though... would prefer some chickens but can't keep those at the apt, just at home. LOL
If you want them to be tame, you generally can't have more than one in a cage, they'll bond to each other and want absolutely nothing to do with you! Also, try to find handfed ones. My friend got a handfed female, one of those fancier english types, and it was actually very sweet and cuddly!
Heck, you're in Oregon? Check someplace like the Bird Barn. You'll pay a little more, but the bird shops often have ones that are already handtame handfed when you get them. Two can be kept tame, but it is a lot more work. If you have enough time to spend with one so that it is not lonely I agree one is easier and a better choice.
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